Tuesday, 24 July 2012

In Search of Mouflon...

So what is a Mouflon?  well according to Wikipedia The mouflon (Ovis aries orientalis group) is a subspecies group of the wild sheep Ovis aries. Populations of Ovis aries can be partitioned into the mouflons (orientalis group) and urials or arkars (vignei group).  The mouflon is thought to be one of the two ancestors for all modern domestic sheep breeds.

Unfortunately mammals in Cyprus are very few and far between mainly because it has been the Cypriot way to shoot and hunt for food and beyond requirement simply for the hell of it.  The mouflon is the largest of the indigenous mammals and in recent times their numbers dropped to dangerous levels.  There is however an enclosure at Stavros Tis Psokas in the heart of the Paphos Forest where these unusual animals can be seen.

John and I had gone out for a drive today.  Periodically Mum, Dad, John and I want to go somewhere different and have an overnight stay (hence our trip to Maria's Tea Rooms in Souni) and so John and I were going to try and locate the country house in Kampos which looked like a possibility.  It didn't look too far on the map as the crow flies but these roads were most definitely NOT built by the Romans and twist and turn their way through the mountains and forests like some huge snake quadrupling the time it takes to get from one place to the next.  It was cooler the higher we went and we did see some cloud which is something of a rarity at the moment.  As we progressed towards Stavros Tis Psokas and away from the coast we realised that to continue on to Kampos was really just too far for an overnight stay so we decided to go as far as the Mouflon enclosure and back to the drawing board in terms of our overnight stay - any ideas anyone??  The trouble is that Mum and Dad, having been here 21 years have just about been everywhere we can think of!

We took both the cameras with us so that for once John could be behind the lens and me in front - a rare sight I know!!  We start to get a bit competitive- surprise surprise - but with different lenses either one of us always has an excuse as to why our photographs may differ in quality! I have to admit, begrudgingly, that with the long lens the shots that John took of the mouflon were infinitely better than mine!

Having finally decided that Kampos was a non-starter we turned round and made our way back home toying with the idea of stopping somewhere for an afternoon drink but plumping for a cuppa and a dip in the pool back at home.

We had thought it was Sharon, Sean and Katya's last full day but it transpired that they were not leaving until Sunday so we will have tomorrow to spend some time with them.  Sharon has decided that she wants High Tea at the Spa - and let's face it, it has been at least a week since I was there last!!!  Sunday night we are off to the shack in Stroumbi which we will always refer to as ανοίγομαι!

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